Friday, April 20, 2007

Vientiane. Laos

Vientiane was named as the capital city when Lao became a french procteturate between the 19 and 20 centuries, and it remains so under communist rule today.

Ballon vendor.

Street scene, Vientiane.

Daily life in Vientiane.

Tuk-Tuk driver taking a nap.

Food vendor, Vientiane.

Street vendor.

Vientiane over 10 centuries have been controlled by the vietnamese, burmese, siamese and khmers.

In the way to the Buddha Park.

Xieng Khuan or Buddha Park was designed and built in 1958 by Luang Pu (Venerable Grandfather), Bunleua Sulilat, a yogi-priest-shaman who merged hindu and buddhist philosophy, mythology and iconography into a cryptic whole.

This pumpkin-shaped concrete monument in the grounds has three levels joined by interior spiral stairways.

They include statues of Shiva, Vishnu, Arjuna, Avalokiteshvara, Buddha and just about every other Hindu or Buddhist deity imaginable.

The style of the figures is remarkably uniform.

The concrete sculptures at the Spirit City are bizarre but compelling in their naive confidence.


Petanque players, Vientiane.

Vientiane is set on a bend of the Mekong river.

Detail of drying fish, Vientiane.

Street vendor.

Buddhist at Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan, the Temple of the Heavy Buddha, one of the most important in Vientiane.

Buddhist portrait.

Monks from all over the country come to the Buddhist Institute to study Dhamma (the Buddha's teachings).

Novice monk at Buddhist Institute.

Novice monk portrait, Vientiane.

Food vendor.

Young kids, Vientiane.

Vientiane, Republic of the people of Lao, Southeast Asia. February/March 2007.